Citizen Science Symposium #CitSciNZ2018 - SUCCESS!

(Published on 12th April 2018)

Shining the spotlight on Citizen Science in NZ


Citizen science is alive and well in New Zealand and growing – with the country’s first citizen science symposium held at Te Papa on Monday, April 9.

Labelled a huge success by the nearly 100 participants, the symposium and associated workshops held over the weekend were the culmination of a three-year project by NZ Landcare Trust, funded by the Ministry for the Environment, World Wildlife Fund and Gawith Deans Trust.

Citizen science is a growing movement throughout the world and New Zealand is stepping up its action in the field. Citizen science is where the public participate in scientific investigations and monitoring, enabling environmental data to be collected that would otherwise not be possible by professional scientists alone, while also creating science learning opportunities for participants.

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar says the exciting part is yet to come, with the information shared at the event now being taken back to a wider audience.

“We are thrilled at the positive feedback we have received from the Symposium. It was great to have our major funders there, as well as scientists, app designers, project coordinators, environmentalists and environmentally-minded people, coming from throughout the nation to see how we further develop the citizen science movement in New Zealand.”

“This symposium was the conclusion to a project that focused on citizen science, mostly within the context of environmental restoration. We have further ignited the passions of those who attended and now that information is being taken back to their organisations, their environmental trusts, community groups and catchment groups. We are very excited to see the future of Citizen Science grow within New Zealand and NZ Landcare Trust will help lead the way,” he says.

Event organiser and citizen science consultant, Monica Peters of people+science says the symposium offered a fantastic opportunity to showcase the range of the citizen science projects underway in the environmental sector.

“Citizen science is gaining momentum in New Zealand, so this was the perfect time for this event. The diversity of participants shows the wide range of interest in citizen science as well as action-based projects,” she says. 

“Everyone came together to learn more about what is underway, and what the future may hold for the movement from a range of great speakers from New Zealand, Australia, the US and Germany.”

Free workshops were offered during the weekend before the Symposium which included lizard monitoring; introduction to bird counts; analyzing coastal data through the Marine Meter Squared programme; using online tools (NatureWatch NZ) for collecting BioBlitz observations and documenting animal pest catches with Trap.NZ and freshwater quality monitoring. These workshops included field trips to parks and ecological sites around the city and received excellent feedback from participants



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